Why Are ACT Test Score Averages Dropping?

The Numbers: How Much Did ACT Test Scores Drop YoY?

Average ACT Test Scores have been dropping significantly since 2020. This poses a massive problem for schools trying to remain competitive.

And parents are quickly searching for solutions that lead their children down successful paths.

The lower the ACT score, the less the student understands key concepts that’ll help them succeed in future careers. As educators and school administrators, it is essential for us to understand the trend of dropping ACT scores. Adopting data literacy is the solution to address this issue.

Lack of Data Literacy – A Big Reason for the ACT Test Scores Drop

One of the primary factors contributing to an ACT test scores drop is the lack of emphasis on data and statistical reasoning in the classroom. Many students today lack adequate training or experience in analyzing and interpreting data. Data literacy is a crucial skill required for the ACT. Interpretation of Data on the ACT Science test accounts for 40-50% of the material. While Statistics and Probability account for only 8-12% of the ACT math test, integrating essential skills such as calculating averages and
median account for 40-43%. 

School faculty need to recognize the importance of data literacy and incorporate it into their curriculum as early as possible. QuantHub has the easy to implement solution teachers and students love.

Give your students the gift of data literacy today!

Other factors contributing to the ACT Test Scores Drop:

1) Data Interpretation and Statistical Problem Solving are not Adequately Covered

Some schools simply don’t have the staff skilled enough to teach these concepts in depth, if at all. There is limited time to cover all course material, let alone learn new criteria to teach students. No matter how essential data literacy and analytics are in today’s careers, or how quickly the ACT is incorporating more data and statistical content into their test – teachers cannot keep up.

In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that the number of jobs for operations and research analysts, which includes data analysts, will grow by 23% from 2021 to 2031. This is much faster than the average for all jobs. The schools that adapt and change to these evergrowing student needs are the schools that parents will fight “tooth and nail” to have their child attend.

2) The Curriculum Isn’t Tailored to Internships and Careers outside of Technology

Data literacy isn’t only for students interested in technology-related careers. The reality is, every business everywhere is adopting technology and data-driven decision making.

  1. Chik-Fil-A is using data science to figure out how to optimize their drive through processes and generate more revenue. The average salary for a Chik-Fil-A data scientist is $184,000/year.
  2. Zipline (A Drone Company) uses data analytics to optimize flying lifesaving medical deliveries to hospitals in hard-to-reach areas. In fact, in Rowanda, Zipline has reduced mortality rate for pregnant women by 88%. They did this by reducing the time of life-saving deliveries in a remote hospital from a 3-hour drive to a 15-20 minute automated drone flight.
  3. Data analytics is used in fashion ecommerce to quickly determine what products are thriving and what are failing. This can help businesses decide what product to create next and drive more revenue.

You don’t need to be strictly interested in computer technology to become a data analyst or scientist. Your students should be made aware that data literacy and interpretation is being adopted in every field, and the best way to get into the field they love is being the driver of growing revenue behind the business.

3) Students are Bored & Attention Spans are “Shortening”

Remember 5 years ago when Millennials wanted content that answered their question in 4 minutes or less? Gen Z and Gen Alpha want those answers in 30 seconds tops. This poses a unique challenge for teachers with a set curriculum that changes infrequently enough to match the growing needs of new students.

Teaching in the past was outward-looking in, now, students want to know how to do something before they know why it works. Our microlearning approach at QuantHub answers those needs for students without having to up-end an existing teaching plan.

Implications for Students and Colleges

A drop in ACT test scores can have various implications for both students and colleges, including:

1) College admission

ACT scores are one of the essential factors that colleges use to assess a student’s academic potential. A drop in test scores could lead to a student not getting accepted into the college of their choice, or receiving less financial aid, scholarships, or grants.

2) Placement

ACT scores can also determine a student’s placement in certain classes, such as remedial courses. A drop in scores could mean that a student needs to take additional classes to catch up or delay their academic progress.

3) Retesting

Students who experience a drop in their ACT scores may feel the need to retake the test. Retaking the ACT can be costly, and additional preparation time may be needed, which could affect a student’s schedule.

4) Institutional Ranking

For colleges, a drop in ACT scores for their enrolled students could negatively affect their institutional ranking and reputation.

5) Curriculum Review

Colleges may need to review their curriculum and teaching methods to identify potential areas for improvement and better prepare students for future standardized tests.

A drop in ACT test scores can have significant consequences for both students and colleges. Students may need to devote more time and resources to prepare for the test or explore other academic pathways, while colleges may need to review their admissions and curriculum policies to address the issue.

What Can Schools Do to Help Students Improve Their ACT Scores?

Schools need to recognize the importance of data literacy and incorporate it into their curriculum as early as possible. QuantHub understands the challenges of facing teachers with yet another lesson plan that they do not have the time and/or knowledge level to teach.

Our microlearning platform makes it easy to implement lesson plans created by data scientists to help students understand why data literacy is important. Our platform meets students at their level and is designed to “smart-adjust” to their existing learning ability.

Students love our self-paced platform because it’s:

  • Easy to use and is desktop, tablet and mobile-friendly
  • Covers complex material in a way they understand quickly
  • Provides a variety of real-life examples

Students who are data literate can make informed decisions based on data, which will help them in their academic career and beyond. The capability to analyze data is essential in all fields, including business, healthcare, education, finance, fashion, retail, and politics – not just technology.

The Future of ACT Testing and What to Expect

ACT Testing will always be one step ahead of the school curriculum if faculty aren’t adopting new technologies to keep up with data literacy. At QuantHub, we invest a large amount of time and variety of resources to provide the best facilitated microlearning approach to student’s needs.

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